2021-01-08 MLA Minutes

EWS Board Meeting: January 8, 2021

meeting notes

Members of the Executive Board of the Edith Wharton Society met beginning at 12:00 p.m. on 8 January, 2020 via Zoom during the virtual Modern Language Association annual convention.

In attendance were:

Jennifer Haytock, President

Melanie Dawson, Immediate Past President

Myrto Drizou, Vice President

Jay Jessee, Secretary

Sharon Kim, Treasurer

Rita Bode and Katie Ahern, Outgoing Members at Large

Lara Rattray, Virginia Ricard, and Meg Toth, Incoming Members at Large

Paul Ohler, EWR Editor

Donna Campbell, Webmaster

Carole Shaffer-Koros, EWS Archivist

Sheila Liming, Membership Coordinator

  1. Welcome from Jennifer
  • Appointment of secretary for taking minutes (Jay Jessee)
  • Officer Reports:
  1. Myrto Drizou brought to discussion the EWS CFP for ALA 2021 with new deadline. Discussion to extend the deadline for our CFP and gauge interest and availability of panelists as we get closer to that deadline. Shelia Liming offered to chair the panel if ALA does indeed take place in person in July 2021.

Discussion of topics for CFPs for future SSAWW and MLA conferences.

  • Sharon Kim delivered the Treasurer’s Report. The society currently has $28,409 with a $9,042 increase in 2020, largely because of the refund of the deposit paid in 2019 from the New Yorker Hotel after cancelled June conference. The actual total increase in income in 2020 was just over $600.

Discussion of the relative success of the addition of multiyear memberships, with 11 members taking advantage of this option

  • Sheila Liming delivered the Membership Coordinator Report. There are 171 individual memberships with a modest increase from the planned 2020 conference.

Discussion of how to send reminders for paying dues, in particular for new multi-year members. Sheila will investigate what options PayPal offers for automatic renewals and/or reminders to renew.

  • Paul Ohler gave an update on the Edith Wharton Review. The journal is adding two new board members: one will replace Mary Carney who is stepping down and the other will be an addition to the current board. Sharon Kim will also be stepping down from her role as associate editor and plans are being made for her replacement, as well.

The numbers for the journal have improved with the move to Penn State Press and inclusion in JSTOR and Project Muse

Issue 36.2, a special issue on The Age of Innocence, has shaped up to be a robust group of 5 articles, a printed roundtable edited by Arielle Zibrak, an introduction by Hermione Lee, and book reviews.

  • Donna Campbell gave an update on the website: it is healthy with increasing numbers and 10,633 unique visitors and 26,000 views in 2020. Our social media presence is critical for those numbers.

Donna asks for anyone with new books on Wharton to please notify her so that she can update the webpage and social media posts

  • Discussion Items:
  1. Possible amendment to the Constitution to allow 1 meeting virtually to replace the in-person board meeting at MLA. Jennifer will address whether that would affect our guaranteed panel at MLA and report back to the board.
  • Further discussion of future conference topics included: EW and Panic, Wharton in the world (meme/online/public), Wharton’s ecologies/networks/relationships, EW as Essayist (possible conference topic sponsored by Virginia Ricard). Also discussed was a shift to more roundtables rather than traditional panels
  • Discussion of whether to try to hold our next EWS conference before the slated 2024 conference, and it was decided to wait and only do 2024
  • Discussion of hosting more online, virtual events such as roundtables and symposiums via Zoom. There was positive interest in the idea. Jennifer and Jay will discuss; any one with ideas about such events and/or organizing them, please contact either Jennifer or Jay.

Meeting adjourned at 1:05 pm EST